Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Summer Guest by Emma Hannigan

It appears that Lexi Collins and her husband Sam have the perfect lifestyle in Caracove Bay.  They have a thriving art business, a busy social life and a beautiful house on Cashel Square.  Their peace is disturbed by the increasing demand to have a baby from Lexi’s mother which stirs up unsettling memories of the past and creates friction and misunderstandings between the whole family.

Kathleen Williams suddenly appears on Lexi’s doorstep; visiting from America and keen to see the childhood home she left more than sixty years ago.  Lexi and Sam invite Kathleen to move into their basement flat to stay for the summer so she can revisit old friends and take on the challenges set by her beloved husband.  To add to the mix, wilful teenage niece Amelie, frustrated by the restrictions set by her parents and hoping her “mint-bomb” aunt will be much more understanding, decides to move into Cashel Square.  The three generations of women become close sharing their lives and secrets.

A gentle read about the importance of friendships, love and the power of rainbows.  At times it seems a little simplistic (would you let a complete stranger move into your house?!) and most of the minor characters are just sooooo nice. Although some more difficult issues are broached they are all neatly tied up by the end, but I became really angry about the way Lexi's mother pressured her about having a baby and felt it was some what overdone.  Billed as perfect for fans of Maeve Binchy, it certainly echoes her Irish family sagas and depicts a cosy image of Ireland and it's people.  It's an enjoyable summer read. 

Thank you to lovereading for providing a free copy for review.  A shorter version of this review was submitted to www.lovereading.co.uk